Indoor Air Quality Alert: Dallas Flash Flooding

What is the location of the flooding?

On October 5, 2023, flash flooding hit North Texas and Dallas (1)(2).

The flooding came as thunderstorms stretching from Minnesota south to Texas brought high winds and heavy showers to a parched region.

Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?

Flooding and rain impacted people across North Texas and in parts of Oklahoma.

  • Dallas, Texas experienced flash flooding and flooded streets during rush hour.
  • Texarkana, Texas streets had standing water.
  • Owasso, Oklahoma saw power lines and tree falls.
  • Lubbock, Texas witnessed very large balls of hail.

In addition, 70,000 people lost power in Texas and Oklahoma.

What is the current containment status of the flooding?

The National Weather Service warned of heavy rain, thunderstorms, and flash flooding for north-central Texas to southwest Arkansas on October 4 (3).

Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?

There are no current evacuation orders for Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas.

How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?

It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.

  • Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
  • Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
  • If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
  • Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
  • Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
  • If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.

Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.

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